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Mad Mud Run in Las Vegas May 27, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events.
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Last weekend, Tracie and I had the pleasure of travelling up to Las Vegas to help out at the Mad Mud Run put on in Summerlin by Sierra Adventure Sports.

We arrived on Friday afternoon, and while Tracie helped Kim and Carla with registration and package pickup at the local REI store, Rick and I went out to finish marking the course.  Rick had already spent most of the day marking part of the course and making sure that hay bales had been dropped off in the right place, and most importantly, that the 50′ long mud pit had been dug out and filled with topsoil and water.

Rick and I went out onto the desert part of the course and marked arrows on the ground with white flour.  He took me on a tour of the whole event, so that in the morning I could be of assistance making sure that things were set up and people were where they were supposed to be.

When that was done, we met Kim and Tracie for dinner at Gordon Biersch restaurant and brewery for dinner.  Their garlic fries are the best!

The next morning we met at the race site at 5:00am to get things ready for the 8:00am start.  Dave and Windy had driven up from Phoenix to help out as well, and we all met up at the crack of dawn.  Dave and I went to assemble the wall and the over-under obstacles, while Windy ran the course so she would be familiar with it and where the balance beams (her station) were going to be.  Rick put out cones with directional arrows, while Kim, Carla and Tracie got the race headquarters and check-in area ready to go.

Just before 7:00am, Kim put the final touches on the Mud Puppy course (it is the short obstacle course for kids), and then the participants started pouring in.  I took a photographer on a tour of the course so he could see where he wanted his staff to shoot, and when I got back I couldn’t believe how many people were in line to register!!

Rick announced that the race would start in waves, and called the first racers to the line while I got the fire hose ready to give them a good soaking shower in the first 100 feet of the race.  After we got all 3 waves of racers started and out on the course, we had a few minutes of welcome down time, but not long!

The first finishers started to arrive about 7:30, and Jeff and I were at the front of the mud pit trying to make sure that racers didn’t dive into the mud, but crawled in and stayed on their belly under the flags the whole way through.

It was a very fun event to be a part of, and Tracie and I were grateful that Rick had asked us to help out.  The community of Summerlin was out in force, and they really enjoyed themselves.

Rumor has it that in October Summerlin will be hosting another of Rick’s Mad Mud Runs, mark you calendar!

North American Rogaine Championships (Orienteering) May 27, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, extreme sports, Just Stuff, orienteering, team challenge.
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Ray and I decided at the last minute to enter the 8 hour Rogaine that was part of the North American Rogaine Championships put on by the Tucson Orienteering Club.  We raced as team GO Adventure Recreation.

This endurance orienteering event was held up on the Mogillion Rim northeast of Payson, Arizona.  Along with the 8 hour competition, there were also 12 and 24 hour events.

We arrived at about 8:30am and had just enough time to set out our gear and double check our supplies before maps were handed out at 9:00.  The course would open at 11:00am. This gave us 2 hours to plan our best route in order to maximize our score and still make it back by the 8 hour cut off.  We decided to stay primarily on the east side of the map in the area of Wildcat Canyon.  In looking at the topo map, we could could see that the terrain was steep, and would be slow going in some areas.  There were so many tall ponderosa pines, that we also knew that navigating would not be done by landmarks, but by bearing and distance.

When the course opened we started out to the south at a good brisk hiking pace of 6km/hr.  I had fairly new shoes, but I figured they would be fine.  We found our first control right away, then headed for the second.  On the way to it, I could already feel a little hot spot developing on my heel…..darn.

We got the second control then headed for the third.  On the way to it, I decided I had better change socks and put on a thicker pair. Too late!!  My heel already had a nickel sized blister on it.  Bummer, we were only 3 miles in, and I was already having issues.  I put on my thicker wool socks and tightened up my shoe and off we went.

For the first 3 hours, our navigation was spot-on.  We walked right to every control, until we tried to find the dreaded number 45!  We figured it to be exactly 90° and 500 meters from the intersection of two forest roads on the map, so after we found the intersection, we followed our compasses east for about 500 meters…..nothing!  We walked in big circles….nothing!  We went back up to the center of the ridge and followed it down according to the topography…..still nothing!!  We eventually decided to move on to the next control. Dang it, we had just wasted 30 minutes and missed out on 40 points!

We hiked into a very steep walled canyon that was the main part of Wildcat Canyon toward an 80 point control.  Once in the bottom, we made good time and found the control without any problem.  Our fiasco with #45 now required that we re-evaluate our proposed route.  We would not have enough time to get as many controls as we had originally planned.  So we modified (code for shortened) our intended route.

Somewhere on the way to the next control, my heel blister burst with an agonizing burning feeling and I could feel the liquid in my sock. Yuck!  Oh well, nothing I could do about it now!  And on we went.  Now you might be asking yourself, “Doesn’t he know about moleskin?”  The answer is yes, I do, however, my feet sweat so profusely when I hike that nothing, and I mean nothing will stick to them.  So moleskin is a no-go for me, neither is duct tape, or band-aids, or anything else.

In order to try and shorten this story, I will tell you that we navigated very well the remainder of our day and made it back to the Start/Finish with under five minutes to spare, having scored 790 points and hiked over 21 miles in 8 hours.

The route we took at the Rogaine

The route we took at the Rogaine

We weren’t sure where that ranked us, but have since discovered that 790 points was good enough for 5 place overall, and 1st place in the team division.  That’s right, we are the North American Rogaine Champions (in the 8 hour team event).

The profile of our 8 hour Rogaine

The profile of our 8 hour Rogaine

Road Ride; A Change of Pace for Me May 11, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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Something I hardly ever do is ride a road bike.

This last Saturday I was talked into going on a road ride.  A bunch of us headed out White Spar Rd. at 7:00AM.  We had the whole spectrum of riding abilities in our group, we had two Cat2 riders, two Cat3 riders, a Cat5 rider, and three of us that would fall somewhere below that, all the way down to me.

The strong riders were very patient and stopped and waited for the rest of us to trickle in several times.  When we reached the top at mile marker 305, Paul said he wasn’t feeling so hot, and decided to turn around and make it a day.

From there down through the switchbacks, we all stayed in a pellaton (big word for a mountain biker huh?), and rode at an incredibly fast (for me) speed through those corners.  On the last tight left hand corner I was praying that my tires would hold the line, and we slingshotted out of it and continued at a breakneck descent until we passed the cattleguard and had the climb up to mile marker 298.  When I finally made it to the group, three of them had decided that they would go all the way to People’s Valley before turning around.  Dave and I (no I am not being schitzophrenic) decided we would turn around at the Wilhoit store, and Kent said he would do so as well.  Steve, decided he would go to the Kirkland Junction then head back.

We formed another pellaton for the descent to Wilhoit, and really hammered it to over 43 miles and hour for that section.  Kent and Keith did a sprint in the flats to the next cattleguard, and I sat up and tried to recover before turning into the store.  Dave, Kent and I spent about 10 minutes at the store, refilled our water bottles and started back toward town.

The climb all the way back up to 305 was pretty uneventful, we just rode at the pace that I could sustain, and when we got to the top I was feeling pretty good still.  On the descent into town, a little yellow boxy car went by us, and Kent gave it everything he had to get into the draft of the car.  Dave and I couldn’t catch it, and we watched as Kent and the yellow car disappeared from view.  Dave and I traded places to let each other draft some on the way back into town, and we kept up a pretty good pace.  We pulled into the parking lot at Safeway about 30 seconds after Kent.

All in all it was a good ride, however, I had a terrible headache and my neck muscles were killing me for the entire rest of the day.  I guess it is the position on a road bike that I can’t take.  I have to lift my head up so far to see through my glasses that it just kills my neck.  So, unless I get lasik surgery , I probably won’t be going road riding again anytime soon!